In 1920, Congress established the Federal Power Commission (FPC) to coordinate hydroelectric projects under federal control. Under the joint administration of the Secretaries of War, Interior, and Agriculture, the FPC could only employ an Executive Secretary. All other personnel were borrowed from these administrating executive departments. This organizational structure resulted in conflicting mandates, making it difficult to produce a consistent energy policy.
In 1928, Congress voted to give the FPC funds to permanently hire their borrowed staff. Two years later, the Federal Power Act established a five-member, bipartisan commission to run the FPC. Through court decisions and the enactment of new laws, the mission of the FPC expanded.
Large backlogs of applications for natural gas permits, chronic brownouts in the 1960s and the OPEC embargo in the 1970s led to efforts to reorganize the FPC. In 1977, Congress reorganized the FPC as FERC.
FERC regulates by issuing formal written orders relating to an entire industry or one or more specific companies.
It is comprised of six "Libraries":
Documents usually fall into one or more of the Libraries (on the basis of the FERC regulatory programs):
Within each Library, there are two categories of documents:
Submittals are a general category of documents and other materials addressed to the Commission officers or offices, filed with the Office of the Secretary, or otherwise delivered to the Commission.
Each category is divided into classifications, then segmented by type.
When a proceeding is initiated by FERC, a docket number is assigned to the proceeding.
FERC Docket-Prefix List provides a list of prefixes and definitions, and identifies the eLibrary Library where proceedings can be found.
CP = Type of proceeding - "Certificates for Pipelines"
ER = Type of proceeding - "Electric Rates"
To retrieve a filing from FERC eLibrary, it is helpful to have: